General Z’s plans fouled up
They go get the book
The Caretaker has been subjected to hideous tortures, and he’s hovering on the brink of death and insanity.
When he is released, he babbles incoherently, seemingly filled with both fear and regret. While he can be manipulated by force, he doesn’t seem to be fully aware of where he is or who you are; his eyes are unfocused and he immediately falls to the ground … tries to crawl, collapses and begins to wallow about before finally curling into a ball.
Dumbfounded, Bairdyn stares at the Caretaker, not only due to his strange form and the azer’s condition but also wondering just what the hell they are doing in this place without a healer. Turning to the others the halfling asks, "Does anyone have a healing left that we can feed him?"
Maxyzne places a woundpatch on the azer and asks, "Shaden can you pass me a healing potion? Oh, your out aren’t you … don’t worry I will use my own."
Shaden frowns taking no humor in his taunting as he muses. All Shaden can think about is that he leaped forward into battle drawing all the enemies to himself and that he was the first to reach their enemy lines. He was almost certain he slew some (Shaden actually didn’t slay anyone, but that’s how he remembers it) and then he fell in a hail of attacks. When he regained consciousness with the help of Bairdyn’s healing potion and he was about to slay their foes anew, what did Shaden see? Bingus aiming a fireball, not close to him, not nearby, but directly at him! Shaden recalls one night around the campfire tales of a battle involving Ramok and apparently Ramok getting mad at Bingus for dropping a fireball on him too. Shaden is no math wiz, so in his mind 2 + 2 = 5 and Bingus has a clear pattern of trying to kill his companions. And in the votes of whether to pursue our enemies and retrieve the magic book, our mage friend Bingus is the only one who did not want to pursue our enemies and retrieve the magic book. Now again Shaden is no math wiz but even he knows that 2 + 2 = 6 and it is pretty clear to him that we have a traitor in our midst.
Bairdyn tries to talk the Caretaker back to some semblance of sanity, starting out with "My grandpa always says …" And when that seems to be going nowhere, Maxynze adds, "My grandpa too." Then the halfling tries to convince the Caretaker that he really doesn’t look too bad, and Maxyzne adds "for someone with a burning head." Then Bingus comes to their aid offering to cast a ritual to remove afflictions.
Wolf says, "Caretaker’s spirit is disheartened by the evil wrought upon this temple. Caretaker is attuned to this place and much evil still exists here. To cure Caretaker, we must return the temple to a cleaner state."
Trying to lighten the mood Bhenedict adds, "Pie, do we have a pie? Tell you pie is the cure for this, some pie and maybe some tea … Well, no pie … How about something strong to drink? Give him a swig of this, it will put hair on your chest, and straighten out your spine, it will fix him up in no time."
Agreed they make ready. Bhenedict lifts the burning azer, noting that he is still shackled, he calls for Bairdyn to remove the binds. Bingus’s affliction ritual is difficult. He requires both the assistance of Notaku and Bhenedict to restrain the Caretaker and Bhenedict’s primordial ring and armor prevent serious burns during the process. The ritual takes a full hour, and Bingus is heavily taxed but when the ritual is finally concluded the azer blinks once, and when he looks at you again, his eyes are clear—or rather, they appear to burn with an inner fire that they lacked earlier. He speaks in heavily accented Common.
“You have my thanks, strangers. You should not be here, but as you are—and as I needed you—I will take this to be Moradin’s will. I know not who these creatures were, who invaded my home and dealt so cruelly with me, but I know their intentions! I heard them plan! They seek to attack the city of Overlook, from both without and—through my temple—within! Even though the latter has been thwarted, the former might yet lie ahead; Overlook, and indeed Elsir Vale, might suffer greatly. But tell me, who are these villains? Do you know? Tell me all that has happened, please.”
Bairdyn glances about looking to see if anyone is going to jump in and respond, navigating through an awkward silence he turns to the Caretaker and explains, "Well, you see, Mr. Caretaker, sir……it all starts with a priest of Moradin back in Overlook, named Durkik. He got kidnapped by someone named General Z (I don’t really know what the Z is short for, sorry), and he was even replaced by a doppelganger! The same thing happened to a bunch of important priests in town, and apparently it all has something to do with this General Z wanting to find a way to sneak into your temple here. He knew access to the Temple of Moradin there could get him access to your temple here, so he went to all those crazy great lengths to make sure he and his forces could find their way in here. Durkik wouldn’t budge an inch, and even under torture, made sure not to reveal any of your secrets….he said he didn’t know much about the details here anyway, from what he said. In any case, he asked us to come here, defeat the forces of this general, make sure you were safe from harm, and if at all possible, return to him with an ancient artifact, a book known as a Librium of some kind. I can’t remember the name, and I’m definitely no scholar….something like incalculable, or improbable, incalculum, or some such. We even managed to defeat a haggity old bitch (I hope you’ll pardon my language there, sir) and take the book from her, but then we found ourselves in such deep straits in our battle to rescue you that we had to ask her to use the book on our behalf. Unfortunately, she took advantage of our goodwill and trusting natures and ran off with it before the fight was even over!"
Pausing briefly, the halfling continues, "So there you have it, Mr. Caretaker, sir. That’s pretty much how everything went down. No doubt one of my learned comrades could fill in some important details I might have missed (and don’t worry, I’m NOT talking about Shaden and Maxyzne) …"
“I knew that the tall one wanted me to turn over stewardship of the temple to him,” he says. “I fear that, in my pain, I might indeed have granted him control over some of the constructs, but I denied him any more than that. I . . . I fear that when you awoke me from my stupor, the portals were instantly unbarred. He has likely fled already. But at least I can swiftly return you to Overlook the same way. The artifact you describe must be ‘The Incunabulum Primeval’; it belongs to Moradin’s church. It is my sacred duty to guard it. If it has been taken it must be recovered. I cannot allow it to fall into hands that would abuse its power. Certainly I will help you recover the book but cannot leave unless you first swear that you will turn it over to Moradin’s church without delay. I will help you recover it but I also have a boon to ask of you …"
“I realize time is short,” says the Caretaker, “and that you must hurry back to warn the people of Overlook. Nevertheless, I must ask you . . . can you spare an hour, and perhaps a bit of your hard-won gains, to aid me with one final task? After the blood that was shed here, I must perform a ritual to reconsecrate the temple to Moradin. I cannot do it alone, and if you do not aid me, I will have to travel to find appropriate assistance leaving my post to the ravages of further ruin and trespass. Perhaps this sounds to you like the ramblings of an old fool, but I believe fully that Moradin will smile upon us for doing so.”
Maxyzne says, holding up two fingers, "First off all, I see no harm in helping you with this ritual if it means that the temple is kept safer and thus Overlook kept safer as well, " adding a third finger, "nextly, we already said that we were hired to bring the book back to Durkik–he’s the church you are referring to is he not?, " and switching to a thumb and one finger, "and thirdly, enough talk … we’re going after the book once we’re done helping mister toasty-brow here so that you can help us like you just offered."
Under her breath she snickers, "Math-wiz" at Shaden. She walks over and hands Shaden one of her potions and a woundpatch so that he has one, "just in case…", patting his bottom as she walk off.
"Caretaker?" asks Notaku, "Would this ritual require all of us or just some … or possibly one? My thought is this, since you have pointed out that time is short perhaps I can help you with the ritual while the others pursue the Incunabulum, we have battled the hag before, she is no match for us and it would be my honor to assisted you in the reconsecration of this temple that was built for all people. Such was my intent when we found, such is my wish now. Will you have my assistance then?"
"There is wisdom in your words … I will accept that which freely offered. Your words breathe life into truths long forgotten, that spirit will serve us well in the task ahead. Yes, I think your assistance will suffice."
"As for the hag, I sense that she has taken refuge within the vault and she is not alone but I cannot say who might be with her. You will find a secret door behind the statue in the northwest corner of this reliquary. The door there opens to a spiral stair and a single passage leading to a secret trap door hidden within the vault. Mayhap you will gain some advantage by using it but take care the floor of the vault bears a number of weighted mechanical traps."
Looking about at the bodies of the fallen throughout the reliquary the Caretaker shakes his head in either disappointment or disbelief, but as the other members of the Brigade head off in the direction of the secret door he calls out, "A moment friends, I believe I see items that might assist you."
Approaching the bodies of the minotaur and the strange dragonborn warrior the Caretaker stoops down removing several items.
"They took these from the reliquary stores," says the azer presenting fur-lined greaves and a set of heavy boots and a pair of potions. "You are welcome to them."
As the rest of the party departs, and after the completion of the ritual the Caretaker offers of gift to Notaku. He shakes Wolf’s hand in appreciation handing him a small ruby carefully chiseled into the shape of a burning flame, "take this in memory of what we have accomplished here together today. Go with my thanks, you are well-forged, may Moradin keep you."
Cast: Bingus (PC/Josh), Bairdyn (PC/Tom), Bhenedict (PC/Rob), Wolf (PC/Mart), Shaden (PC/Van), Maxyzne (PC/Andy)
Summary/Goals: Restoring the azer, Caretaker to full functioning the party is rewarded and given an opportunity to go after the Hag with the book.
The items Caretaker gave the party are:
Ruby (worth 2,300 gp)
Magic items are Greaves of Maldeen (Notaku takes these), Boots of the Mighty Charge (Bhenedict takes these for now…though we may trade them in once back in Overlook) and two healing potions(one for Shaden and one for Bairdyn).
Greaves of Maldeen
Wolf fur rings this enchanted leg armor, which allows you to hunt down evil foes with ease.
Price: 13,000 gp
Item Slot: Feet
Property: Gain a +2 item bonus to speed as long as you move toward an enemy and that enemy is in your line of sight the whole time.
Power (Daily): Immediate Reaction. When an enemy moves away from you, you shift 3 squares toward that enemy.
Boots of the Mighty Charge
Your footsteps thunder as you charge in these boots, making bounds of steps and allowing you to deliver a mighty blow.
Price: 5,000 gp
Item Slot: Feet
Property: When charging, you gain a +2 item bonus to speed.
Power (Daily): Free Action. Trigger: Use this power when you charge. Effect: You can use any at-will or encounter melee or close weapon attack power at the end of the charge as long as it is an attack that includes the enemy you are charging. (You are not restricted to making a melee basic attack or a bull rush.)